I am a dog person. I have had the most beautiful, loving, caring and adorable dogs in my life and that’s why I am enraged about Yulin and China as a whole. I always knew that dog meat is common on menus there. My colleagues have told me all about it. What I didn’t know until now was about the “festival” and I never had seen pictures of dog bodies piled up in butcher shops before. Worse, for the first time I saw dogs stuffed in cages and the sadness in their eyes took my anger to a whole new level.
So, here’s something I wish to debate on. Fellow non-vegetarians, please please don’t be mad at me for saying what I’m about to say.
Every time I signed a petition against Yulin there was a big question in my head regarding my own preference for meat. I eat every animal that is accepted as food in India. Chicken, quail, turkey, mutton, beef (rarely) seafood etc. I’ve been to Mosque Road in Bangalore during Ramadan but never liked it because of the heaps of meat, people and lack of hygiene. I never returned after my first visit and never ate there anyway. SO…my conscience questions me – why is Mosque Road OK and Yulin not? Both serve tons of meat. We’re not talking about Chicken, camel, seafood, sheep and quail V/S dog, we’re just talking about animals in general. Why is it fair to kill one animal and protest the killing of another. My only answer is – “Mosque road is NOT serving crispy dog. Nobody should hurt a dog!”
Other questions flow – why don’t meat shops shock me the way pictures of the dead dogs do? will I ever sign a petition against sale of cattle and poultry in India? My answer is – No. I will sign petitions for proper transport of chicken and livestock. I would also sign petitions to keep alive animals in separate rooms and out of sight from dead ones that are hung up in rafters, chopped to bits and sold to customers. The local butcher will vouch for me because we have had arguments regarding this matter. However, when state governments banned beef in India, I said people in this country have the right to eat what they want. However, I wouldn’t say that to China and demanded for a ban instead.
So here’s my conclusion on this topic. We are programmed to accept our culture and other cultures PROVIDED they match our ethics. That’s why we will never accept China’s eat-everything-that-moves (including-dogs) food culture. It’s OK for us to celebrate thanksgiving by serving up thousands of turkey and turn all kind of cattle into kebabs to feed 20,000 self confessed carnivores at mosque road for 30 days BUT no 10-day DOG eating festival please. If I had to be true to myself, without being partial to dogs, I believe I’m being unfair to all the animals I eat when I support one animal over the others. It’s hypocrisy, even if you say the world sees sheep as food and dogs as pets. The fact is somewhere, in crazy China town, dog = nutritious food.
I wonder if this kind of conflict has occurred to non-vegetarians who protested against Yulin. We’ve seen butcher shops and the scene is no different from Yulin. I’m so conflicted that I quit eating meat a few days ago and I doubt I’ll return to it anytime soon.
Oh by the way, I still have no respect for a culture that doesn’t respect dogs. I might be a hypocrite and not accept a certain kind of non-vegetarianism but my stand against the dog eating “festival” hasn’t changed and I’m thoroughly disgusted.